Last month Spencer Turer was invited by the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the organizers of the International Coffee & Tea Festival to instruct SCAA and Roasters Guild classes in Dubai. This coffee adventure took Spencer from our coffee laboratory in Burlington 7,500 miles away to the conference center at the Medan Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Spencer is a certified lead instructor for the Specialty Coffee Association of America and is designated as a Specialized Instructor for Sensory & Cupping classes as well as Brewing and Roasting classes. As a former Head Judge for the United States Barista Championship, Spencer was asked to participate as a Judge for the United Arab Emirates National Barista Championship during the trip. Unfortunately, due to Spencer’s schedule as an instructor, he was not able to participate as a judge for the Barista Championship events. 2013 UAE Barista Champion, who will be representing the UAE at the World Barista Championship 2014 in Rimini, Italy, is Mr. Kushal Balami from Raw Coffee.
The International Coffee & Tea Festival is an International Educational Partner with the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and the only internationally recognized coffee and tea exposition in the Middle East. Students attending the Coffee Skill Building Workshops represented coffee professionals seeking additional training, newcomers to the coffee industry, and people seeking to enter the coffee industry as well. Attendees were from the United Arab Emirates and the surrounding region including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Yemen, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Syria, Iran and even Russia.
Spencer was the Lead Instructor for GE103 Introduction to Cupping, RP104 Decaffeination, and RP223 Sample Roasting. Also, he was the Station Instructor for RP110 Introduction to Roasting Plant Equipment, RP112 Introduction to Roasting Concepts, and CP151/CP152 Introduction to Brewing & Extraction levels 1 &2. Other qualified and experienced SCAA Specialized Lead Instructors teaching at the International Coffee & Tea Festival were Bob Arceneaux from Orleans Coffee Exchange, Neil Wilson from Wilson’s Coffee & Tea, Miguel Vicuna from Metropolis Coffee and Alex Littlejohn from Verve Coffee Roasters.
The instructor team spent non-working hours exploring the exciting city of Dubai from a culinary and tourist perspective. Dubai is one the 7 emirates to make up the United Arab Emirates and is a constitutional monarchy ruled by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who visited the International Coffee & Tea Festival. Dubai is home to the world tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, standing at 829.8 meters tall (with 164 floors), the man-made palm islands, and the Dubai Mall. This mall is the largest shopping center in the world with over 1,200 stores and includes an indoor ski slope, an ice skating rink, an IMAX movie theater and the world’s second largest aquarium (containing 2.64 million gallons of water!) Some of the international coffee brands represented in Dubai were Dunkin’ Donuts, Tim Horton’s, Second Cup, Caribou, Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Costa Coffee, Cafe Nero, and Gloria Jeans.
Coffee Analysts’ testing laboratory hosted the coffee producers from the ASOANEI Cooperative, and conversations with our guests involved coffee supply chain issues and the effects of ROYA in Central America.
From Sustainable Harvest: Jorge Cuevas from Portland, Oregon, Claudia Rocio Gomoez from Bogota, Colombia, and Oscar Gonzales from Lima, Peru
From ASOANEI – Productores Agroecológicos Santa Marta y Perijá: Aurora Izquierdo and Jorge Paez.
Jorge Cuevas, Jorge Paez, Claudia Rocio Gomoez,Aurora Izquierdo, and Oscar Gonzales
Oscar Gonzales, Spencer Turer, Claudia Rocio Gomoez, Aurora Izquierdo, Dan Cox, Jorge Paez, Jenny Perez, Jorge Cuevas
ASOANEI is an association of indigenous and small farmer agro-ecological producers from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Serrania del Perija. It was founded in 1996 to create an organic farming program that promotes the preservation of indigenous and peasant cultures in north-eastern Colombia. The association is comprised of more than 600 indigenous families belonging to four distinct ethnic groups: the Arhuacos, Koguis, Wiwas, and Kankuamos, as well as small farmers who share a holistic view of forests, rivers, mountains, and animal protection and who value an emphasis on sustainable agriculture. Through the conservation and care for natural resources, ASOANEI seeks to improve living conditions for members and their communities while upholding the values of their ancestral heritage. ASOANEI is a certified Fair-Trade Cooperative.
For a product that can’t be commercially grown here, coffee is a growing industry in the Green Mountain State. Coffee roasters are proliferating and we wondered why, and what, makes coffee ‘local.’
The guys who do know what’s in the bag are working in a luxe, waterfront facility in Burlington’s South End called Coffee Enterprises. It’s a coffee company that does make coffee (though they do provide coffee extracts to Ben and Jerry’s, among many other major companies). This outfit specialized in testing coffee – a very scientific-looking process that involves lab coats, timers, clipboards and some very funny sounds: sniffing, slurping and spitting. One tester was overheard describing a bean as having watermelon flavors, another saying a blend is “very sweet, has a nice fruitiness, the acidity and body were balanced.”
The company is run by Dan Cox, who formerly helped build Green Mountain Coffee Roasters into the giant it is today, partly by trading on Vermont’s image. Cox says specialty coffee came in the heels of specialty foods. “That whole emerging foods industry that started with Green Mountain Coffee, Ben and Jerry’s, Cabot Cheese, Rhino Foods, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Magic Hat Brewery we’re all in the same class together. We all grew up together,” Cox explains.
While he says Vermont has many fine roasters, Cox says it doesn’t really matter where coffee is roasted. “I don’t like to harp on the Vermont mystique that we do things better up here. I don’t know if that’s true. It’s hand crafted? It’s all hand-crafted. All coffee is hand-picked. Give me a break. Mountain grown? It’s all Mountain grown. Cut it out,” Cox says.
To listen to the entire story, click on the link: http://digital.vpr.net/post/what-makes-coffee-local
The International Coffee & Tea Festival is the one-stop event showcasing all facets of coffee, tea, bar and café products, equipment and services, presenting a focused, industry-recognized platform in the Middle East. The Middle East’s flourishing coffee and tea market offers an ideally conducive environment for cafés and restaurants and continues to grow exponentially. Over the last four years since its inception, the International Coffee & Tea Festival has proven instrumental to the development of the industry, providing professionals and coffee/tea businesses the exposure to promote their products, launch new concepts and seek out new business channels.
Covering topics within Coffee Grading & Evaluation to Coffee preparation, the 2013 workshops will include techniques in coffee grading and in craft roasting. These workshops are designed for beginners, intermediate as well as advanced level professionals who are serious about progressing within the industry and striving to push the limits towards extraordinary results. All workshops come with award certificates and candidates learn from the very best instructors who are certified professionals. The right blend of coffee science, hands-on training and qualified instructors put these workshops on par with the best learning options available anywhere in the world.
To ensure consistency in terms of quality and delivery of the end product, training is an essential part of any Coffee Business. The hands-on training programme is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the world’s largest trade association for specialty coffee, and administered by the best in the industry who will be at hand to impart the tricks of the trade and share their wealth of experience with cafe enthusiasts, amateurs and budding professionals, to make them a stronger, more result-driven resource for any business.
Scott Kelly, a visiting barista, musician, and coffee professional from Sydney Australia, is participating in a 12-month work and travel program organized by CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange) exploring the coffee industry in the United States. Before he joined our team at Coffee Analysts for a three day internship, Scott worked at LAMILL Coffee, a roaster/retailer in California who is sponsoring the educational program.
“During my short stay at Coffee Analysts I learned about the sensory and physical analysis of both roasted and green coffee. It was interesting to see how a professional lab works and the efficiency which the staff has developed in their work. My time at the lab has given me an insight into how other parts of the coffee industry works outside of the cafe environment. I’d like to thank all the staff at the lab for their hospitality while I was there.” -Scott Kelly.
We enjoyed working with Scott and learning more about the Australian coffee industry, and wish him the best of luck for future success in the coffee industry!
We are proud to announce that David Morrill, Sensory Specialist and Senior Coffee Technologist has earned his Q Grader license. This certificate represents hours of training, dedication, and expertise in sensory analysis in coffee testing.
Congratulations, David on this achievement and milestone!
Vincent Caloiero, Coffee Analysts’ Coffee Technologist and Sensory Specialist, has earned his Q Grader license. This certificate represents hours of training, dedication, and expertise in sensory analysis in coffee testing. We are proud of Vincent’s achievement and congratulate him on this milestone.
After making it through another brutal New England winter, we decided to it was time to head to origin: this time, to Guatemala. Working closely with Anacafe, the Guatemalan National Coffee Association, we studied coffee quality throughout the country, and learned first hand about the destructive nature of leaf rust (hemileia vastatrix.)
Upon arrival we began working in Anacafe’s labs, comparing operating procedures for green and roasted coffee to ensure consistency and accuracy of methods in our respective labs. Next, we completed cuppings that explored the different quality designations found in Guatemala (Prime, Extra Prime, Semi Hard, Hard, and Strictly Hard Bean); also on the table was a natural coffee and Robusta, two types that are very limited in Guatemala. Subsequent cuppings compared the eight distinct regions of coffee, which include designations based on cup profile, climate, soil, and altitude. Not surprisingly, there are pretty clear distinctions in the cup! We really enjoyed the Acetenango, and noticed an unusually unique profile in the Rainforest Coban.
Our travels outside the Anacafe labs took us to the growing regions of Antigue and Atitlan, where we visited farms to learn about procedures for processing coffee cherries, and ventured into the fields to gain first-hand knowledge of the detrimental effects of leaf rust. In Antigue we visited Las Salinas, San Rafael Urias and Finca Retana y Anexos. Each farm represented the best of what Guatemala has to offer; shade-grown coffees, high elevations, and sustainable farming practices. Isidro Valdes, owner of San Rafael Urias, personally showed us around the farm. At Finca Retana, owner Fernando Cofino showed us their worm farm where coffee pulp is processed into rich compost that can be spread back on the fields. In Atitlan we visited Coop San Miguel, where numerous farmers cultivate micro-lots of coffee plants and share facilities for processing and distribution of the green coffee. Co-op manager Servando Santos Chumil gave us a tour of the wet mills and drying patios. We also stopped by Chacaya, where farm manager Mario Cabrera took time out to show us around. Our last stop in Atitlan was at Granos del Sur. Here they purchase coffee cherry from local farmers and process it through their wet mill. They also had a dry mill for processing and sorting coffee for shipment.
The drive back to Guatemala City took us through farm land where rubber tree farms and sugar fields abound. As it happened, the National Barista competition was happening at the Fontabella, and we made a quick stop to take it in. It was the perfect way to end our action-and information-packed trip to Guatemala.
Cook’s Illustrated Magazine recently conducted an analysis comparing and contrasting several Supermarket Medium-Roast Coffees. In the same issue they also evaluated consumer filter drip coffee makers. Do you agree with their conclusions? http://tinyurl.com/bfndzte
Spencer Turer, the Director of Coffee Operations at Coffee Analysts, traveled to Costa Rica in early November 2012 to attend the Sintercafe International Coffee Conference and tour coffee farms.
The Sintercafe trip started in San Jose, Costa Rica with over 325 attendees from 23 nations. While attending the event, Spencer met with coffee producers, traders and roasters from around the word discussing coffee quality and expectations for the upcoming harvest. The conference presentations included topics such as:
- Global coffee supply issues – David Neumann, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe
- Coffee in Ethiopia – Majka Burhardt
- Costa Rico Coffee Farming Issue – Luis Eduardo Campos, Café Altura de San Ramon Especial
- Brazilian Coffee Situation – Carlos Brando, P&A International Marketing
- Colombia Coffee Issues – Juan Esteban Orduz, Colombian Coffee Federations
- The Future of Specialty Coffee -Ric Rhinehart, Specialty Coffee Association of America
- The ICE Futures market, including financial tools for hedging -Albert Scalla, INTL FCStone
Michela Stama from Lavazza and Doug Welsh from Peet’s presented company profiles, and Miguel Zamore from FairTrade USA conducted a seminar on their current activities and programs for farmers and cooperatives.
While attending seminars and business meetings regarding the global coffee industry is exciting and rewarding, the most fun was had touring Hacienda LaMinita in the Tarrazu valley. The area where the farm is located is called Los Santos with elevations between 3,750 and 5,000 ft. The plantation has been owned by the McAlpin family since 1967 and has been developed and maintained to produce top quality coffee that is in demand by specialty and premium coffee buyers. Spencer toured the coffee farm, nursery and milling operations with Mr. Sergio Cruz, the Director of Quality Assurance and Alberto Ponce from Cadexsa in Honduras. During the tour they concentrated on inspection of coffee cherry development and the health of the coffee trees.
DECEMBER 13, 2012
8:30am – 5:00pm
32 Lakeside Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401
DATE & TIME
December 13, 2012 | 8:30am – 5:00pm
PRICING (per person)
SCAA Member price: $80.00
RG/BGA Member price: $120.00
Non Member price: $160.00
FOR REGISTRATION PLEASE CONTACT THE SCAA
The SCAA Instructor Development Program is one of our most popular professional development programs. Specialty Coffee Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) can advance their training and education skills through workshops on adult learning principles in the workplace, instructional design (based on the ADDIE model developed by the American Society for Training & Development), testing, evaluation and class management. Upon completion of the one-day program, students earn the SCAA Lead Instructor Credential and are eligible to volunteer as an Instructor for SCAA. Many students enthusiastically report an increase in quality and delivery of their training and instructional design in their own companies after completing the IDP. This course is particularly beneficial for the coffee expert who trains others, but has no formal coursework in training, adult education, or organizational learning.
This course is a pre-requisite for future advanced IDPs.
1. Recognizing education and training as an element of organizational success;
• Orientation to the SCAA’s Professional Development department
• Incorporating your company’s mission, vision and strategic goals into your training initiatives
• Instructor and trainer competencies for the SCAA and at work
2. Applying adult learning principles;
• Recognize four key adult learning principles;
• Grasp basics of adult learning theory and begin translating theory into practice
• Identify characteristics of adult learners and take them into consideration when conducting classes
• Recognize how adult learners process information, and strategize class design
3. Setting clear, measurable skill and knowledge objectives.
4. Designing instruction using the ADDIE model of the American Society for Training and Development.
5. Exhibiting professional presentation skills.
6. Evaluating learner performance and leveraging learning back at work.
The course is taught by the SCAA Education Manager, Ildi Revi, M.Ad.Ed., CPT. Ildi has designed and conducted educator training for over 15 years for companies, educational institutions, government projects and NGO’s. She works with all the subject matter experts at SCAA to design, develop and deliver classes to our members.
Spencer Turer, Director of Coffee Operations, attended the recent NACS Show (National Association of Convenience Stores) held in Las Vegas, Nevada. While at the show, Spencer met with many of our clients from the convenience retailer channel of trade, and had the opportunity to talk with other retailers about their hot beverage programs.
“Attention to coffee quality and improved brewing technology was the primary focus of this year’s show,” stated Turer. Many of the national coffee roasters were demonstrating their quality capabilities by featuring singe-origin coffee, exotics, and even certified coffee, illustrating their commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Equipment manufacturers were demonstrating the newest technology for filter drip brewing and serving to maintain coffee quality attributes. Espresso machines, both super-automatic one-step and two-step models, were prominently displayed, demonstrating to convenience retailers that freshly prepared espresso-based beverages are able to be included in anyone’s coffee program.
From branded coffee to private-label programs, and from commercial quality to gourmet quality, the overall focus at the NACS Show was to keep the hot coffee customer in their stores by delivering a great tasting cup of coffee to the consumer.
Coffee Analysts is recognized as the leader in coffee testing services to food service brands and convenience retailers, and is providing comprehensive quality support to many convenience retailers to help them achieve their sales and profit goals.
We are please to announce that Director of Coffee Operations Spencer Turer is now a Licensed Q-Grader. An article from CoffeeTalk describes what it means to be a Q-Grader:
The Q-Grader program is designed to give a common language to describe quality in coffee and is used from the farmer to the consumer. It quantifies coffee attributes and gets all participants to identify taste characteristics in the same way. The true purpose therefore is to be able to communicate quality up and down the supply chain and raise the overall quality of coffee in the process.
Jeremy Raths of The Roastery in Minneapolis, and a Q-Grader Instructor, describes the Q-Certification of coffee this way, “For the coffee industry it is the only certification based on Quality. It is totally blind, independent and adhering to a strict protocol. It is all about the coffee. No guilt, no shame, just coffee quality. It is a way that the whole chain can objectively look at a coffee using quantification.”
Q-Graders must pass a rigorous five-day exam to earn their certification, comprising of 22 sections on coffee-related subjects, such as green grading, roast identification, coffee cupping, sensory skills and sensory triangulation. There are currently over 1,000 Licensed Q Graders worldwide.
Coffee Analysts benefits by having two licensed Q Grader on staff. Both Coffee Analysts owner Dan Cox and Spencer Turer provide leadership to sensorial evaluations ensuring SCAA and Q standards are followed for coffee evaluations, and provide training to staff members as well as insuring proper calibration amongst sensory panelists.
“We are proud of Spencer earning his Q-Grader License,” remarked Cox. “It’s a rigorous and world-renowned program, and Coffee Analysts will benefit greatly from having another Q-Grader on our team.”
Last week we got a comment on our post “Coffee Testing: What We Look For and Why“:
Moisture content in green coffee is an indicator of freshness, proper processing at the coffee mills, and proper storage conditions.
Coffee is hygroscopic—that is, it attracts and hold water in moist environments and will release water in dry environments.
Fresh green coffee upon import should be between 10% and 12% moisture for washed coffee, and up to 13% moisture for naturally processed coffees and coffees from Indonesia. The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia has a regulation limiting Colombia coffee moisture content to below 12% upon export.
Green coffee moisture will affect cup quality: Beans with high moisture content may discolor and turn light opaque during storage. High moisture content coffee may have cup quality issues as well, ranging from fruity to sour, and possibly ferment. Beans with low moisture will lose their green color and turn pale yellow quickly, with cup quality issues of flat, papery, thin and cereal characters.
Green coffee moisture will effect blend development: Variations in green coffee moisture will affect the roasting process and change the dynamics of the roast profile.
High moisture content beans will roast slower, requiring additional energy to dry the beans before Maillard reactions / non-enzymatic browning may occur.
Low moisture levels are necessary to allow coffee’s internal temperature to reach around 154 C (309 F) to begin. Low moisture contents will cause the profile roast to speed up, with higher temperatures realized earlier, creating a faster roast.
Coffee Analysts’ own Spencer Turer was quoted earlier this week in an MSNBC article about coffee and its effects on living a long life.
In her piece, author JoNel Aleccia cites recent results from the largest-ever analysis of the link between coffee consumption and mortality that coffee consumption may lead to a living a longer life. The research, which was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that during a 14-year study period “men who drank at least six cups of coffee a day had a 10 percent lower chance of dying during the 14-year study period than those who drank none. For women, the risk was 15 percent lower.”
This is where Spencer came in:
Reassuring, indeed, for hard-core coffee drinkers like Spencer Turer, who guzzles four to six cups of coffee every day for personal consumption — and sips between 75 and 300 cups more as part of his job as a professional coffee taster.
“It’s good news for all coffee drinkers because we can feel really good about the decisions we’re making,” said Turer, director of coffee operations for the firm Coffee Analysts, which provides unbiased scientific review of coffee products. “People concerned about the health effects may choose to drink more coffee.”
Nice! Click here to read the full article.
Since MSNBC ran this post, a few other news outlets picked up the piece and quoted Spencer:
CLASSIC FRESH FRUIT TART
Orange sweet pastry shell, traditional vanilla pastry cream – milk, eggs, sugar, bourbon vanilla beans and a small amount of cornstarch. Topped with fresh berries and kiwi, finished with Grand Marnier infused glaze.
City-roast coffee (48-50 Agtron) to complement the dessert of super-sweet characters, medium acidity, and slight nuttiness: Brasil NY2 Strictly-soft, fine cup 100% Cerrado with sweet, creamy nutty characters and soft, mild finish will allow the fruit characters of the tart to dominate, or Costa Rica Strictly Hard Bean European Preparation Honeyed, or El Salvador Strictly High Grown Honeyed coffees, both will present a syrupy, floral and slightly wild sweetness, with rich-creamy body and bright, crisp acidity. The coffee character will compliment the creamy custard and ripe fruit characters to make a harmonious pairing.
A Medium roasted Fair Trade Organic coffee has sweet aroma, winy-orange/apricot acidity, and medium body with milk chocolate, toasted nuts, and light caramel smooth finish. The sweetness of the fresh fruit in the tart will draw out the floral-fruity sweetness of the coffee, without overpowering the character or intensity.
WINE / SPIRITS
Crisp, clean sweet wine to compliment the fruit acidity, and balance the cream and pastry.
- Ice Wine – dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine, the water is dissolved and the sugars are concentrated. – Pure, fresh, sweet and nicely acidic characters would lift the fruit flavors and compliments the pastry cream.
- Late Harvest Riesling – sweet, aromatic German dessert wine
- Sauternes – French sweet wine of the Graves section in Bordeaux – Both LH Riesling and Sauternes are fairly complex wines with typical floral aroma, fresh/stone fruit characters, honey, apricots and peaches, may be spicy and mineral-like with underlying sweetness and crisp acidity.
- Marenco Bracchetto d’Aqcui “Pineto” - Dessert wine from Piedmont, Italy from 100% Brachetto grapes – This is a softly sparkling dessert red wine that adds an elegant sweet-tart balance of cherry and berry fruit with medium acidity.
From Flickr: Oceana Grill New Orleans
KENTUCKY BOURBON PECAN PIE
Classic ingredients: eggs, sugar, dark corn syrup, butter, pecans and Jim Beam Kentucky bourbon. Coffee cuts the sweetness of this dessert and pairs well with the buttery caramel pecan filling. The Pastry Chef makes the pie dough using bourbon in the dough, to add flavor and reduce the development of gluten which toughens the pastry. The salted caramel sauce mirrors the flavors of the pie.
Full-city roast coffee (Agtron 44-46) with acidity and fruity/floral to contrast the rich creamy dessert: Ethiopia Yirgacheffe (bright, citric and floral with clean lingering finish) or Guatemala Antigua Strictly Hard Bean, European Preparation, Fancy (winy acidity, tart-sweetness, with rich body and spicy finish) will provide enough contrast to the sticky sweetness of the Pecan Pie without overpowering the toasted nutty characters.
The complex flavors of this dessert and heavy sweetness require an intense coffee to pair. Slightly similar with enough contradicting characters help keep each item separate on ones palette: sweet, clean coffee with low acidity, dark chocolate and molasses characters, hint of sweet ripe berry, medium to full body, with a toasty, dark caramel lingering finish.
WINE / SPIRITS
- Paired with classic, sweet dessert wine, slightly sweeter then the dessert.
- Malmsey or Bual Madeira – sweetest 2 of the 4 major Madeira grape varieties. Portuguese wine fortified with grape spirits.
- Oloroso Sherry – “Scented” sherry. Aged to produce a smoother and sweeter wine.
- PX Sherry – (Pedro Jimenez) a white grape from Spain producing an intensely sweet, dark, dessert wine.
- Bual Madeira and Oloroso Sherry both have the nuttiness to compliment the pecans and the acidity to balance the sweetness of the sugar. The Malmsey and PX are very rich and dark, with dried fruit flavors which would enhance the chocolate.
- High quality Madeira will work very well, exhibiting toffee, molasses, pecan and nut flavors, with good acidity.
Look for Spencer at SCAA
The SCAA Event is almost here, and Coffee Analysts will be there.
If you’re in Portland, look for Spencer Turer, Director of Coffee Operations, as a Station Instructor for the following classes:
- GE201 The SCAA Cupping Form and Peer Calibration
- GE202 Comparative Cupping
- GE255 Organic Acids and the Chemistry of Coffee
Spencer will also be a judge for the “Best New Products – Coffee or Tea Preparation and Servicing Equipment (Consumer).”
Vincent Caloiero, Coffee Analysts Coffee Technologist, will also be attending the conferences as a porter at the Roasters Guild Coffee of the Year Competition.